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Starbucks feels Gaza boycott heat, cuts sales forecast as BDS targets Chevron

The two companies are being targeted by campaigners over perceived support for sides in the Israel-Hamas war.
 A Starbucks store stands in Manhattan on January 30, 2024 in New York City. The global coffee chain officially introduced its extra virgin olive oil-infused drinks on Tuesday. Named Oleato, the drinks debuted in Italy in February 2023 and arrive in stores on the same day Starbucks will report fourth-quarter earnings. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Starbucks cut its annual sales forecast on Tuesday in the latest sign that boycotts over businesses' perceived support for different actors in the Israel-Hamas war are taking a toll on corporate balance sheets. Oil and gas major Chevron also faced new global boycott calls relating to the company's work with Israel this week. 

On a post-earnings call, the world’s largest coffee chain also warned that dampened demand in January and slow economic recovery in China from the COVID-19 pandemic would likely hurt its second-quarter financial results.

Full year comparable sales — both globally and in the United States — are now expected to grow 4-6%, down from 5-7%.

During the call, CEO Laxman Narasimhan said Starbucks, which operates more than 2,000 stores across 13 MENA markets, saw “a significant impact on traffic and sales” in the Middle East due to the conflict, Reuters reported. 

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